What We Do
auspices of the Grant Sawyer Center for Justice Studies faculty and
graduate students have actively pursued research on a variety of justice
issues, including: judicial decision making regarding the admissibility
of scientific evidence; global diffusion of novel scientific evidence;
the comprehensibility of judges' instructions in the penalty phase of
capital trials; the utility and effectiveness of battered woman syndrome
as a defense; breast implant litigation; racial and socioeconomic bias
in the jury selection process; police and district attorney decision
making in the processing of rape cases; the influence of pre trial publicity
on juror decision making; human rights and AIDS legislation; the effectiveness
of anger management programs for batterers; new religious movements
and social justice issues; and the effectiveness of alternative dispute
resolution mechanisms such as court annexed arbitration. Faculty Associates
at the Center are also actively publishing articles based upon their
justice research and presenting papers at local, national, and international
Sawyer Center for Justice Studies is also committed to raising the campus
community's awareness of justice related issues and research opportunities.
This awareness is facilitated through the "Center News" Newsletter,
the Brown Bag Colloquia Series, the Distinguished Speakers Series, the
Roundtable Discussion Groups and the occasional GSCJS Paper Series.
of the Center served as Editor of the journal Social Justice Research
from 1996-2002. This Journal is an international multidisciplinary forum
for the publication of original papers that have implications of sufficient
scope to be important to all social scientists investigating the origins,
structures, and consequences of justice in human affairs.
can the Center offer faculty and graduate students interested in justice
• Grant Development Support. The Center is ready
to assist faculty and graduate students with grant writing in the area
of justice studies, broadly defined. Research assistants are available
to help with literature searches, LEXIS case law and statute searches,
locating and identifying funding sources, the completion of funding
agency forms, human subjects' protocols, and other related issues. In
order to ensure the highest quality research proposal possible, each
grant is peer reviewed by at least one person designated by the Director
of the Center. The Center also provides assistance for graduate students
who seek funding for doctoral dissertation improvement. This assistance
includes: identifying appropriate funding sources; review and editing
of proposals; and assistance with form preparation.
• Newsletter: The "Center News" provides
the campus community with the latest information about granting opportunities,
post docs, research money, calls for papers, upcoming conferences, and
other related information.
• Brown Bag Colloquia Series: The CJS Brown Bag
Colloquia Series brings faculty, graduate and undergraduate students,
and members of the larger community together in an informal setting
to present and discuss justice related research.
• Distinguished Speaker Series: The Distinguished
Speaker Series is designed to bring nationally or internationally renowned
leaders in the field of justice to the university for public lectures.
While visiting campus, scholars typically present a technical seminar
for graduate students and faculty in relevant departments and a public
lecture for the entire campus and surrounding local community.
Roundtable Discussion Groups: As part of the Center’s
ongoing effort to stimulate social justice research and scholarship
on campus, from time to time the Center conducts roundtable discussion
groups. The purpose of these groups is to provide an opportunity for
the exchange of information among individuals who share a common interest
in justice issues. In addition to building awareness about individuals’
work in given areas, the roundtable series also serves to introduce
individuals to the potential value of collaborative and/or complementary
• Graduate Research Assistantships. The Center
funds graduate research assistantships. Graduate research assistants
offer general support for those conducting research in justice studies,
including assistance in grant writing, research design and implementation,
statistical analysis, and report writing. Research assistants are also
responsible for carrying out the day-to day activities of the Center.
Sawyer Center for Justice Studies works closely with the Judicial Studies
Program at the University of Nevada, Reno, in the education of sitting
judges from around the U.S. and abroad. Staff from the Center assist
in thesis and dissertation research required of judges/students in the
program. The Judicial Studies Program offers the Master of Judicial
Studies and the PhD in Judicial Studies.